Parsnips may be given to baby at around 8 months of age; their delicate nutty sweetness – especially when it has been enhanced by winter frost – will be a great hit. An older baby will appreciate sticks of tender parsnip as a finger food.

Parsnips belong to the same family as carrots, but are not as popular as they are not quite as nutrition-packed.

Parsnips are good for baby (and you):
Parsnips provide fibre which aids the digestive system and helps maintain low blood sugar levels, and good amounts of calcium – important for bone development. They also contain vitamin C and a little protein.

Hints on buying and storing:

  • Parsnips are at their best in winter – freezing temperatures improve their flavour.
  • Look for firmness, with no damage, dryness or wrinkling, or bruising.
  • As with carrots, there should be no new little leaves sprouting from the top or hair-like roots down the sides.
  • At home, keep refrigerated and only peel or cut immediately before cooking.
  • If peeled or cut, cover with water and use within 2 days.

Tips on cooking:

  • Wash parsnips well, and peel.
  • Steaming retains most nutrients, but roasting brings out more flavour.

Ideas for ways of including parsnip in your baby’s meals:

  • Add a little apple or pear puree.
  • Combine with carrot, pumpkin, courgette (zucchini), peas, or green beans.
  • Mix into cooked lentils or brown rice.
  • Include in cooked beef, pork or chicken dishes.

Please remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.

This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.

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